Projection-based embedded discrete fracture model (pEDFM) for flow and heat transfer in real-field geological formations with hexahedral corner-point grids

Mousa Hosseinimehr, Janio Piguave Tomala, Cornelis Vuik, Mohammed Al Kobaisi, Hadi Hajibeygi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
161 Downloads (Pure)


We present the projection-based embedded discrete fracture model (pEDFM) for hexahedral corner-point grid (CPG) geometries, for the simulation of hydrothermal processes in fractured porous media. Unlike the previously-developed pEDFM for structured box grids, our new development allows for the modeling of complex geometries defined with hexahedral CPG cells. It also advances the pEDFM method to include coupled flow and heat transfer systems. Mass and energy conservation equations are simulated in a fully-coupled manner using a fully-implicit (FIM) integration scheme. This allows for stable simulations, specially when large time steps are taken. Independent corner-point grids are imposed on the rock matrix and all fractures, with conductivities ranging from highly permeable to flow barriers. The connectivities between the non-neighboring grid cells are described such that a consistent discrete representation of the embedded fractures occurs within the corner-point grid geometry, specially as the quadrilateral interfaces are allowed to be fully flexible. Various numerical tests including geologically-relevant and real-field models, which are established in the literature, are conducted to demonstrate the applicability of the developed method. It is shown that pEDFM can accurately capture the physical influence of both highly conductive fractures and flow barriers on the flow and heat transfer fields in complex reservoir geometries. This development is promising for flow simulations of real-field geo-models, increasing the discretization flexibility and enhancing the computational performance for capturing explicit fractures accurately.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104091
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalAdvances in Water Resources
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Corner-point Grid
  • Embedded discrete fracture model
  • Flow in porous media
  • Fractured porous media
  • Geological formations
  • Heterogeneous geological properties


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